Emotional Abuse Defined
The National Center on Elder Abuse defines emotional abuse as “Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.” It is important to remember that any type of abuse – physical, sexual, or emotional in nature – is a violation of a caregiver's duty, and may be grounds for a civil suit. The lack of physical symptoms does not mean that abuse isn't taking place.
Common examples of emotional abuse include:
- Belittlement and harassment
- Name-calling and insults
- Mocking and sarcasm
- Threats and intimidation
- Ignoring the victim
- Neglect and abandonment
If you suspect or know that emotional abuse is occurring, we encourage you to speak with an attorney from Chanfrau & Chanfrau. Rest assured, our experienced and knowledgeable team of legal professionals can walk you through every step of the claim process. From investigating the circumstances surrounding the alleged abuse to filing a claim and, if need be, protecting your rights in a court of law, our team will be by your side. We take on the burden of legal action so that you and your family can focus on what is important – healing and recovery.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Unlike physical and sexual abuse, which often result in visible symptoms, emotional abuse leaves no scars or bruises, except those on the victim's psyche. If your loved one has indicated they are being emotionally abused, we urge you not to write it off as petty disgruntlement – it may, in fact, indicate serious abuse. Remember to be on the lookout for:
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities
- Sudden change in alertness
- Unusual depression and sadness
- Strained or tense relationships with caregivers or other residents
- Frequent arguments with caregivers or other residents
Speak with your family member about these issues if you believe that abuse is taking place. It may also be a good idea to speak with the care facility itself regarding this matter, unless you have reason to believe that such action will only exacerbate your loved one's abuse. Finally, if the abuse is serious and ongoing, seek legal counsel immediately.
Let Us Help By Contacting Our Firm Today
If your loved one is being emotionally abused by a professional caregiver, you may not know who to turn to or what actions to take. We want you to know that the team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau is here to help. We have extensive experience handling medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases, and can advise you on your rights. We believe strongly in defending individuals who are unable to defend themselves, and will commit ourselves to securing a just resolution for you and your family. To schedule a consultation, contact our law firm today.